This season is about hoping, waiting, watching, preparing, anticipating, coming, welcoming. It's about remembering what God did way back then so that we can recognize what God is doing now. It's about what God is sending into the world, how we receive what God sends into the world, and how our lives and our relationships can be so surprisingly blessed that the world glimmers with a mystic light and our ears tingle with the songs of angels. Followers of Jesus pause to ask God where the Christ child will be born this year.
There was a house when I was a child that covered itself extravagantly with intense turquoise blue lights this time of year. As if stars had settled from the sky on this one house. Lights outlined the roofline, windows and doors and crisscrossed the entire roof. It shone with elegance. Intense but indistinct light against a northern winter night.
I found myself looking longingly at boxes of Christmas lights on a store shelf yesterday. Hanging lights in the bleak mid-winter of Denver is a good instinct. It is a poetic affirmation of love that will not let us go. I can't wait till the lights start shining in the dark.
I wonder where we will see the real presence of God this season - what star will guide us. I wonder what humble dwelling will welcome Jesus. I wonder if I will turn aside to be fully present to family, to strangers, to friends. May Jesus visit you with the joy of Christmas PRESENCE.